VIDEO: Perkins school board takes heat on cuts

About 200 district residents turned out Wednesday to weigh in on the difficult choices ahead if tax levies fail.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 7, 2013

Click the video play button down screen center to watch last night's meeting. Click here to see a photo gallery.

The school board will be forced to slash up to $12 million more from the district's budget over the next five years without voter approval.

The fate of the district's 2-mil, five-year permanent improvement renewal levy and its 10-year, 4.98-mill new emergency operating levy on the May ballot will chart the course. 

The board already axed about $2.6 million by cutting teaching jobs and other positions. The next round could include slashes to athletics, foreign language programs and full-day kindergarten classes. 

One resident said the board and district superintendent Jim Gunner had not been straight with residents, a suggestion both Gunner and school board president Matt Kosior refuted.

“If you come up with a better plan or a chapter plan, let’s see it. Don’t accuse anyone up here of doing anything underhanded. That is not the case.”

The board shares many of the same frustrations residents do, Gunner said, but has kept its focus on the No. 1 priority.

“We are going to make the decisions that are right for the kids, and sometimes those are controversial,” Gunner said.

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Click here for the e*Paper or get a Register at a newsstand near you for a table on contents on potential cuts and a deeper look at the school budget. 
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Comments

samiam

It is personal when people have lost jobs or taken pay cuts to keep their jobs. Many houses have lost value but kept their high mortgages. The big picture to many people is paying their utility bills, putting food on their table and keeping a roof over their heads. Yeah, it is personal!

Tool Box

Hey Imataloss... is it your brain that you're missing because you obviously can't comprehend simple math or you wouldn't have said open enrollment is keeping this school afloat! ...and yet another student left behind!!!

Imataloss

Give me the math Toolbox and I want to see where you get your numbers from. Point me to the documents that show open enrollment costs Perkins money.

Tool Box

Maybe instead of cutting teachers we need to be cutting Gunner.....

3 Highest Paid Years Average:
$108,000.00

Yearly Pension Estimate:
$71,280.00

Lifetime Pension Liability Estimate:
$1,610,215.20

3-Year Employer Pension Salary Match:
$45,360.00

Pro-Rated Pay Based on 2,080 Hour Work Year:
$166,400.00

Social Security Maximum Yearly Payout:
$28,152.00

Tribester

This community is fast becoming a joke. If I was Gunner, I would look for a job in a community that actually cares about the education of its children instead of all the lame excuses to vote no on levies for the past 13 years. My public high school where I grew up in suburban Pittsburgh offers Spanish, French, German, Latin, Chinese, AND Arabic! If you want this community to ever have good paying jobs, an educated workforce would probably help. However, if you all are happy with the current hickville, backwater status of Pertucky, then by all means VOTE NO!

Wald

Gunner and the BOE have proven that they are not to be trusted with taxpayer money, i.e. the football stadium and underhandedly manipulating/moving funds. That is why this levy will fail. Period.

smeltz

So then punish the BOE not the students. If the BOE can't be trusted elect new ones!! Don't make the children suffer for a group of adults that have made poor decisions!

Tool Box

We will punish the BOE! By voting NO we are sending a message that we will not put up with the shell game that they are playing with our money and that any teacher terminations will rest on their shoulders for the chess game they played and LOST!

smeltz

No, you will punish the students...you think your punishing the BOE...but it is TRULY the students that will pay the ultimate price!

bobshumway92

Whoever smeltz it, dealt it.

smeltz

Hey bob...I have heard them all...come up with something a little more cleaver.

Tool Box

How about this Smelly, you can't fix stupid? Wait, you probably hear that a lot also...

Common Sense

That will not happen with bobshumway. It is guaranteed!

Imataloss

Brilliant! Let's punish the people we elected, because that's the smart thing to do. Let's tell them that despite the fact that they are more educated than us about the school system and its inner workings, we think they are idiots!

Then, let's oust them and elect new idiots. Oh, but guess what, when you turn computers on in classrooms, they will still blow fuses and all the others problems that exist will not have gone away. So, these new idiots will make the same decisions these current idiots are making. But instead, it will have cost the taxpayers further time and money.

I think it's time for some of the Vote No people to pony up their time and run for the board. Oh, and maybe actually tour the schools and sit in a classroom.

Tool Box

Speak for yourself Iamaloser! I possess a masters degree.

Imataloss

Still looking for the math and documentation that shows open enrollment costs Perkins taxpayers money. Anyone?

Tribester - couldn't agree more.

bobshumway92

For the sake of the children, VOTE NO!

smeltz

It is extremely evident that you don't have children in the school system...

bobshumway92

VOTE NO!

Tool Box

VOTE NO!

goodtime1212

We do have kids in the school, work in the township, live in the township and voting NO

senioritis

Tribester--You read my mind. Nicely put.

Resident51

While I agree Perkins is on the plus side of open enrollment on paper, it is not the rosy picture that Gunner is painting it to be. For it to be a money maker, you have to fill seats without hiring staff and adding expenses. Look at what Perkins has had to do to accommodate an additional 500 students. Now add in a $50 million dollar school because they can't house them all.....I agree they are taking a huge loss. Transfer operating money back where it belongs and you'll have over $4 million in your budget to save teachers' jobs and student programs. Use your permanent improvement money to maintain your current buildings as you should have been all along. Problem solved.

smeltz

Were you able to attend the meeting last night? (I was not) Was that discussed at all? Curious as to what the response from BOE was to that question if it was asked. Really can't imagine it wouldn't have been.

bobshumway92

Send the open enrollment kids home now! Immediate $2 million in savings!

oldpirate

It is basically just as expensive to renovate the old bldg and was discussed. Big Bob, you don't know what you are talking about. Just take your no vote and go away. If open enrollment cost money why do all the schools in the area have it?

Perkins2060

Yeah that's it. Call out Bob. Guess what? Your levies will not pass. Won't even be close.

Resident51

And just how will it cost $37 million to renovate? There is no law requiring an old building to be brought up to today's standards. You are being lied to. Other than one wing, Perkins has one of the newer buildings in the area. Since you seem to "know what you are talking about", why hasn't Perkins maintained their buildings over the years with PI money?

goodtime1212

I have asked this question OLDPIRATE, but can not get an answer, How do they know it will be just as expensive? Has there been bids put out? Have there been any other planes drawn up? Other then the State report, as far as I know there is nothing. I am sure not many would just build a new home with out looking into first, can we afford it? second, what will it coast to fix up what we have.

Lil DAB

I dont understand the argument "making the children suffer"...they have the school, they have the teachers, they have the technology provided to them...all on the taxpayer dime. It isn't costing them anything. If anything, we are saving the graduates that would end up property owners as we are, from higher taxes. They should be thanking the "NO VOTERS."
I also agree Smeltz, if the BOE can't be trusted elect new ones! Start getting qualified candidates to consider getting their names on the ballots NOW! How many of Perkins Board members will be up for election in November? Some "board members" are just "professional board members" with the only qualifications they have is what they have aquire from serving and being privvy to board meetings! Quit re-electing them.

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